Ian Somerhalder on His Producing Plans, Advocating for Climate Causes and ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Finale

The Vampire Diaries Ending Ian Somerhalder
Bob Mahoney/The CW

“I’ve never been busier in my life,” says Ian Somerhalder. Even though his hit series “The Vampire Diaries” is wrapping its run after eight seasons, he’s making a plan for his future as a producer, with a new deal with Warner Bros TV with his wife, Nikki Reed. And then there’s his passion project: his commitment to environmental causes, through his eponymous foundation.

You just announced a pod deal with Warner Bros. TV. What kind of shows do you want to make?

All kinds of shows — scripted, unscripted, drama, comedy, docuseries, digital, all of it. The reality of it is telling good stories. Really good stories. That’s really all we want to do. Fortunately I’ve been able to work with some of the most incredible talent in this business. It’s unbelievable what I’ve learned. I understand how to make things from the ground up. I’ve come out of this not only with a new wife and this life and this family and eight years under my belt, but I also have lifelong friendships and a vast amount of knowledge that I can now take into my life and my career. And that is invaluable. That changes your whole world. I’m excited to take the stuff that I’ve learned and use it as applied science. It’s exciting when you walk into a room or walk on a set and experience a problem that you possess the tools to find solutions effectively and economically.

You’re incredibly active on social media. What advantages do you see to it?

I have a very profound and distinct appreciation for social media. I also have a very profound and deep concern for social media. It is an amazing way to transfer information, to create engagement and social change. It has the ability to change the world, and it has. Look at Egypt and the Middle East. But then there’s the flip side of it. I think social media keeps us in a constant state of want, which I think is very, very dangerous. Because that yields unhappiness. It’s about time to harness social media and teach our young people that it doesn’t hold as much weight as we think it does. What Nikki and I are hoping to do with the studio is to really build great storytelling, great content but without bludgeoning people over the head. Find really great ways of displaying socially relevant, impactful messaging within that type of storytelling. It’s time for us to start counteracting what’s happening with mass media. And start allowing people to feel a little bit better about themselves. I’m really focused on creating this next generation to be the most innovative, compassionate and grateful group of people the world has ever seen.

You’re also a correspondent for the docuseries “Years of Living Dangerously.” Why is that so important to you?

Our greatest challenge of humanity is climate disruption. Whether you want to believe it or not, it’s happening. You’re going to feel it. I personally feel that being involved with “Years” has been the single most important part of my professional life at this point. One of the amazing reasons that the first season has been so successful and that I’m really grateful to David Nevins and Showtime is that they took a big risk. Social media was a gigantic component of that success. The people who follow me rallied and really got behind the show.

Will you be making series that address the climate issue?

Absolutely. That’s something that we have in the works right now. I’m ecstatic to explore it. My dream as a kid was to be working as a scientist or on a Nat Geo expedition. I got to do that. And I’ve never been the same as a result. I’m so thankful that Nat Geo has us now. This is very much where I want to put a ton of our focus. This is very much on the top of our slate list. There’s more to come.

“The Vampire Diaries” is ending after eight seasons. How hard will it be to say goodbye?

You want things to end on a good note. We really had an amazing run. It’s just time. All good things must come to an end. The real beauty of it is that it doesn’t actually come to an end. There’s iTunes and Google play and Amazon and Netflix and Hulu. We have these incredible outlets where media just lives on. New viewership comes into the fold. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

What can you reveal about the “Vampire Diaries” finale?

Three-part answer: No f–king clue. I have no clue. I’ve called Kevin [Williamson] and Julie [Plec, co-creators] five times last week to find out and understand what’s going on. They’re very tight-lipped about it. I don’t blame them.

What would you like to see in the finale?

Paul [Wesley] and I talk about this all the time. Damon’s 174 years old and in love with an 18-year-old. It’s the most unbelievable example of robbing the cradle, first of all. Secondly, these boys, they came into this town, they wreaked havoc, they ruined lives. Honestly, I think the best thing for Mystic Falls would be for these guys and all of these vampires and witches to just go away. Let Elena wake up and have these boys gone and never know any of this happened. A phenomenal, go humanity thing would be where these creatures don’t win. We would love to see the two boys go down to the Caribbean somewhere and sit on a beach drinking some 60-year-old Caribbean rum, and as the sun comes up, just toast each other, give each other a hug, and take off their rings and throw them into the sea and let them just poof — turn into ash. I’ve created so much death and so much violence on this show that I think it would be such an amazing win for humanity if Damon and Stefan just went bye-bye. Let’s hope it happens.

Will Nina Dobrev be back?

I don’t know. I have zero idea. As a producer, I do have a lot of information and then there’s a lot of information I don’t have. I want the audience to be happy, but I also am very pro human. I don’t think these guys should have the ability to wreak havoc, kill everybody, ruin the lives of so many and then get out with a happy ending. I think the happy ending is that we got to go on this amazing ride with these two guys. They’ve lived long enough.

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  1. OMG I am in love w\ vampire diaries you are my fav character. I luv u . I think that you are cuter but my friend thinks Stefan is . he isn’t. Ahhh I luv u.

  2. Aeros moore says:

    Force 72 leave 5 ej 2 bad’ /%53171€£\

  3. Victoria says:

    I THINK DAMON AND ELANIA SHOULD BE TOGETHER FINALLY AT THE END, SUCK IT UP AND BE ACTORS!!! THATS WHAT YOUR PAID TO DO… SO MANY NORMAL PEOPLE HAVE TO SEE THAT OLD FLAME we do it so why not at least they get paid to do it!!

  4. Sam Cowell says:

    As a human I appreciate the idea of the human race winning… As fan of the brothers who have been on my screen most Friday nights for the past 8 years I want them to get their happy ending even with all the destruction and chaos they’ve caused :)

  5. Shelda says:

    Don’t kill Stefan and Damon they are what kept the show goring, let Caroline marry rick instead of Stefan, let Damon find true love and live a very happy and long life.

  6. Angel Lee says:

    I know that the actors may be over their characters and that’s okay, but as a devoted fan, I’m not over them. Please don’t kill our heroes. Damon and Stefan are heroes in so many ways.

  7. JJ says:

    Some people hate Ian and Paul’s idea for the brothers to die at the end and some people love it but just so you can judge it on its own merits, it has nothing to do with Nina. He and Paul talked about wanting it to end this way at conventions back when Ian and Nina were a loving couple. They just think humans should win.
    Of course I don’t see why they can’t find a way for them all to become human and have a happy ending except it looks like Nina doesn’t want to come back. Ian and his wife have said many times they would be happy to have Nina come back. I hope Nina can figure out her schedule and they can pay her what she needs so they all end happy.
    What I am worried about is Ian’s new projects being so heavy with a message they aren’t actually fun to watch. I care about the world and make documentaries myself but we also need some good quality well written entertainment and Ian has great comedic timing. I guess we will see!

  8. Gloria Haward says:

    His theory of an ending is ridiculous. The fact that he would say he thinks it would be nice to not have an happy ending Is just mind blowing. Fans invested so much emotion into this show and if we saw Stefan and Damon die on their free will would be totally out of character and would devastate fans and myself included. It’s just a lame excuse to not work with Nina. Be professional and get over it . This is the last season just suck it up because even just reading what his ideas are for the ending makes me truly sick. Coming from an emotionally invested fan. Seeing the brothers ending with the love of their lives and happy is the ending people want.

    • sarah says:

      Ian made it obvious that he does not want Nina to come back in an interview at comic con. He was being rude, unprofessional and making everyone uncomfortable including Julie Plec. I have never heard Ian or Nikki say she wants Nina to come back.

  9. Nalini parisi says:

    Ian I absolutely love you….your my favorite in the show but question for you are you telling us how you would like the show to end with the two brothers gone and no happy ending. Is it because you are married to Nicky and you were in a relationship with nina before does it make you uncomfortable to act a love role with nina???

  10. Dea says:

    I absolutely love Ian’s TVD ending. I have a feeling it’s not that far fetched and he’s laying the groundwork for some of it… Anyway, it’s definitely time for TVD’s end. I look forward to Ian’s future endeavors, he’s talented and underrated as an actor.

  11. Mariana says:

    Finally, some good writing about this talented actor, husband an all around decent human being. What he does with his foundation (along with his wife) should be better known, needs more publicity. We are ending nature, animals, plants, everything in the environment. IS tries hard to help. A few months ago they joined with a jewelry fashion designer and created gorgeous pieces of jewelry that, when sold, donated I think 60% of the sales to IS. I got myself some cute earrings and I hope I helped save at least two rescue cats or dogs, lol.

    Anyways, let’s hope to see Somerhalder on screen soon after TVD ends. I remember one of my favorite characters on Lost was Boone and I clearly remember that when I watched TVD pilot (and 2 more episodes), it took me some time to recognize that actor I liked so much in Lost; in my humble opinion, this is how you know a good actor, when you forget it was that actor you liked so much playing another role while acting in a new one that you like as well…

    • Yisel says:

      Ok, I get that Damon did lots of harm but I don’t want the Salvatores brothers dead I mean they are the point of the show, what I think is that Elena should wake up not remembering anything about what happened, and Stefan and Damon to find a way to become humans, and I don’t really like the idea of Caroline and Stefan getting married, I think that after Stefan finds a way to become human he should meet Elena all over again and start dating, and Caroline should stay with her first boyfriend
      But I don’t think that Stefan and Caroline match as a couples.
      So PLEASE DONT KILL THE SALVATORES BROTHER they should become humans again, at least Stefan he doesn’t really deserve to die he did lots of good things
      And if you want to make the show with a dark end you should let Stefan kill Damon and erase Caroline’s mind and take her powers away.

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